The art of Peeling a Potato
Pedro de Cieza de León, an esteemed Conquistador and historian was once strolling near his mansion, when suddenly he was overcome by an irresistible urge to dig the ground … armed with a spade, feverously, he started digging his well maintained garden, till a strange brown colored tuber appeared… Curious, scandalized, interested, afraid … a cocktail of all these emotions were experienced by him and the whole town on learning about the discovery.
People flocked from all over the city to have a look at this peculiar brown bulb. Some called it Poisonous Portion, and others Bulb of faith - an avatar of a deity. After a lot of brain-storming, experiments were performed to determine its property – too soft to be a stone, too hard to be a jelly …
As the days passed by without any fruitful outcome, Pedro dear started losing his patience. The glory of discovery was slowly turning into a mockery for the poor disappointed Pedro. Then one day, in utter dismay he threw it into a cooker of sizzling oil. Eyes wide, tongue rolled out, he watched in amazement as the brown bulb started to transform… it shrank, it turned deep brown. Quickly Pedro took it out, cooled it and by the hands of destiny, tasted it … “hmmm Yummyyyyy” . He called it Potato, hopelessly trying to rhyme with his name Pedro.
This significant development, my friends, was a turning point in the history of culinary world. The earlier version of roasting or boiling the potatoes, invented by the Aztecs and the Irish was much easier. But as the standard of our society improved, so increased the sophistication of cooking it. Thus came into picture - the Art of peeling a potato.
Strategies were charted out, reference books were published, presentations arranged - on how to hold the potato, the amount of force to be exerted so that it doesn’t slip out, and then artistically peeling off the delicate peel with a knife. The craze spread like wild fire, and it became a fashion statement to stylishly elegantly peel a potato.
Ambidextrous-peelers, who would effortlessly peel with both the hands, became a national pride and worshiped as the God of Potatoes. Mothers pestered their daughters to attend sessions, grooms searched for a perfect peeler-bride, Wives showed off peeling skills in kitty parties. But soon the craze died down as almost every hand became specialized in this art. Soon this chapter too got buried in the sands of history of the 16th century.
Only to be reopened by our Little Princess.
It was a sunny morning in the 21st century. Our lovely Princess was fiddling in the kitchen, pestering her mom to make bhajjis. Irritated, mom gave her the herculean task of peeling the potatoes. Delighted, with the prospect of enjoying delicious Potato bhajjis, she set herself with the task.
Strategically placing the potato in her left hand, and knife in the other, she tried to cut out one layer… and she was successful too, but the peel remained with her while, the potato bounced off to the remotest corner of the kitchen :D.
Without losing heart, she washed it and repeated the procedure. After 20 bounces, 10 visits to remotest corner, 5 unsuccessful strategies, the potato was completely peeled off - though it looked far more thinner and felt lighter. The princess too realized that the remnant was a negligible proportion of the original one. And thus, she again started with the task of peeling off the potato from the peels … Fingers cramped, hand aching, and bits of pieces of potato in the plate … The potato bhajji turned into potato Bhujia.
From that day on, she swore not to peel any raw potato. With her mediocre culinary skills, she devised plans and invented recipes on how to cook without peeling off the skin. After exhaustive research and several life threatening attempts, she arrived at a simple solution – Boil it.
The Princess is still incapable of performing this art. Even with 2.5 inch Potato Peeler, she miserably fails to properly peel of the skin of potato, without peeling off her skin. And if extremely necessary, her room-mates and wall mates, renowned specialist in this art, comes to her rescue.
** Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The historical facts and the story mentioned may or may not be true :D